To Horace Mann
80. To HORACE MANN.
Downing Street, May 26, 1742.
TO-DAY calls itself May the 26th, as you perceive by the date; but I am writing to you by the fire-side, instead of going to Vauxhall. If we have one warm day in seven, 'we bless our stars, and think it luxury.' And yet we have as much waterworks and fresco diversions, as if we lay ten degrees nearer warmth. Two nigh'ts ago Eanelagh Gardens were opened at Chelsea; the Prince, Princess, Duke, much nobility, and much mob besides, were there. There is a vast amphitheatre, finely gilt, painted, and illuminated, into which everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring, or crowding, is admitted for twelvepence. The building and disposition of the gardens cost sixteen thousand pounds. Twice a week there are to be ridottos, at guinea tickets, for which you are to have a supper and music. I was there last night, but did not find the joy of it. Vauxhall is a little better; for the garden is pleasanter, and one goes by water. Our operas are almost over ; there were but three-and-forty people last night in the pit and boxes. There is a little simple farce at Drury Lane, called Miss Lucy in Town1, in which Mrs. Olive2 mimics the Muscovita admirably, and Beards, Amorevoli intolerably. But all the run is now after Garrick4, a wine-merchant, who is turned player, at Goodman's Fields. He plays all parts, and is a very good mimic. His acting I have seen, and may say to you, who will not
LETTER 80.—1 Partly written by Henry Fielding.
2 Catherine Eaftor (1711-1785), married (1732) George Olive, a barrister—conjectured by Collins (Peerage, vol. v. p. 645, note) to be an uncle of Lord Olive. Mrs. Olive subsequently became Horace Walpole'a tenant at Little Strawberry Hill.
3 John Beard, singer and actor, afterwards manager of Covent Garden Theatre; d. 1791.
* In the early part of 1742, Gar-rick appeared as Bayes in The Be-Tieaa-aal, Master Johnny in Cibber's Schoolboy, King Lear, and Lord Foppington in the Careless Husband,